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Khandaker apologies for distorting information about Bangabandhu’s 7th March speech

DHAKA, Nonagenarian deputy military commander of the

1971 Liberation War retired Air Vice Marshal AK Khandker today apologized for

presenting a piece of distracted information relating to Bangabandhu's 7th

March address in a book, launched five years ago sparking a nationwide

protest.

I am seeking apology to the countrymen and departed soul of Bangabandhu,

Khandker said in a media appearance at Dhaka Reporters Unity along with his

wife Farida Khandker.

Reading out his one-page written statement he added: I am now 90. I think

it is the biggest of all mistakes I committed in my life.

The Prothoma Prokashan published his book titled 1971: Bhetore Baire

(1971: Inside and Outside) in August, 2014 and in the 32nd page of the book

he wrote Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had concluded his historic 7th

March address saying Joy Pakistan.

Khandker said he was withdrawing the tire paragraph of page 32 relating to

the issue in the book saying Bangabandhu never uttered Joy Pakistan and

shouldered the entire responsibility for the misinformation.

I believe a lot of patriotic people were hurt (by my comments) . . .

regardless of the source, however, I take the responsibility for writing this

misinformation. Bangabandhu never uttered 'Joy Pakistan' in his 7 March

speech, he said.

Khandker added: On my last leg of life like the setting sun, I apologise

to Bangabandhu's soul and the nation. . . forgive me.

Khandker, who was also independent Bangladesh's first air force chief and

minister of the Awami League government, however, referred to the questions

by newsmen at the briefing to his wife sitting beside him as he was suffering

from hearing impairment.

Asked why he did not responded immediately to the protest to end the

controversy, his wife claimed that some people including Ganoshasthya Kendra

founder Dr Jafrullah Chowdhury virtually kept Khandker away from newsmen,

barring him from clarifying the mistake.

She said Prothoma's owner Motiur Rahman also did not cooperate with him to

end the controversy.

Khandker asked the Prothoma Prokashan to reprint the book erasing

controversial paragraph on page 32.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)